Our star feature for today is a self confessed lover of cooking. “I love cooking and people do enjoy what I cook”. That was the opening line from Bilkisu Kabir Dauda, an Abuja based entrepreneur during her chat with northernlife.ng
She speaks passionately about her pastry business, the challenges, the prospects and her motivation.
This unassuming lady is not your run of the mill entrepreneur. She hails from Zaria in Kaduna state and holds a Bachelors of science degree in Computer Science from Baze university, Abuja.
When Aliyu Usman came across an online promo of her Biikaaydee’s Kitchen, he sought to know the face behind the brilliant idea.
Bilkisu Kabir Dauda is beauty, brain and enterprise personified. Three qualities qualities rarely attributed to the young women of this generation. But Bilkisu have them all and it has earned her the moniker, Abuja’s unofficial ‘Samosa Queen’.
When in 2015 she resumed the NYSC orientation for her national service, she couldn’t have envisaged acquiring a skill that has today turned out to be a money spinning venture for her.
Her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited at the NYSC orientation camp where she learnt how to make Samosa and Spring rolls at the NYSC skills acquisition program.
Keen to prove her newly acquired skill, she began to prepare the tasty fries for her family after leaving camp.
The result of that effort is what has culminated into what is now known as Biikaaydee Kitchen (the name is a coinage taken from the first alphabets of her names).
Bilkisu recalls that the support of her family members has been her pillar. “My friends and family encouraged me from the beginning. My father and my sister especially. Now I also enjoy the support of my mother. And even if I get a big opportunity to work elsewhere tomorrow, I will not leave this enterprise ” she said.
Bilkisu remembers the early days of her business enterprise saying “It started like play and I wasn’t sure of where it was headed”.
But in just over a year since she started, her pastry brand has gained wide acceptance with orders ringing out of her phones at short intervals, daily. Bilkisu is consolidating the success as she has now added some flavor to her menu list by introducing Awara as part of her staple.
The decision to add Awara has since proven to be a big hit especially among people who are familiar with the soy product. Oozing confidence from that accomplishment, more ambitious step is now being mooted.
Recollecting the incident, she says “It’s like when I started Awara. People were saying, who is going to buy this? But i went ahead to introduce it and now it has gained acceptance even though it is northerners who order it”.
“Now I’m thinking I should expand soon. I should get a building from where I will be operating. I will like to also provide more northern variety other than what we are currently offering. The market is there”.
But food is also considered a tool for cultural control. As a result, people apply caution especially while running a restaurant. Where some people would be hesitant and hold back, Bilkisu trudges but with due diligence.
As a computer science graduate, Bilkisu is putting her ICT skills to good use through her effective online marketing strategy. She has maintained a robust presence on social media and commands a respectable following on twitter.
She says,”social media is very important because that is where I do all my advertisements”. More importantly, she added, “I get a lot of orders and I sell a lot online. My online presence makes it easy for orders to be placed”.
The word is still spreading about the pastries that come out of Biikaaydee’s Kitchen. And the proprietor herself is not relenting in her quest to create more happy moments for her clients at their weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or even private and recreational outings. Her catch phrase has always been for the taste of pastries to speak for her.
She shares her personal awara recipe with our readers below;
4 cups of dry soy beans (it can be more or less)
2 tablespoon of epsom salt Or
75ml of lemon juice
Food processor or Blender
2 large pots
Mesh Bag or Cheese Cloth
1. Soak soy beans overnight.
2. Rinse and discard any discoloured beans you see before you blend it.
3. Add the processed beans to your largest pot with about 12 cups of water.
4. Stir it at regular intervals and simmer for about 20 minutes. This will foam up a bit so be careful not to let it boil over.
5. Strain into your second pot.
6. Put the strained soy milk back in the pot and heat up.
7. Dissolve the epsom salt in half a cup of warm water continue to add to the boiling soy milk and stir.
8. The curds will form and then separate.
10. In a cheese cloth, pour the curds into the Tofu mold and add seasonings if you wish. Then press the mold.
11. Allow the Tofu to drain in the mold for half an hour.
12. Remove Tofu gently from the mold and cut into desired sizes.
13. Fry Tofu and serve with sausage or stew. Some prefer it uncooked.